Vince Young, once hailed as “Superman” on the cover of Sports Illustrated, filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy protection last week. Young was the 3rd overall pick in the 2006 NFL draft and earned over $60 million dollars during his NFL career. Young is blaming others around him for his financial situation and is currently suing his former agent Major Adams, II and his former financial advisor Ronnie Peoples claiming the two defrauded him of proceeds from a $1.8 million loan that Young obtained during the 2011 NFL lockout. Young lists his assets between $500,001 and $1 million and his liabilities between $1,001,000 and $10,000,000. The bulk of Young’s liabilities appear to be from the aforementioned loan. David Barron of the Houston Chronicle reports that Young owes $2.5 million in unpaid interest to Pro Player Funding, the company that loaned Young the $1.8 million in 2011.
Perhaps Vince Young will prevail and be proven right; however, previous stories regarding Vince Young’s finances show a pattern of reckless behavior and poor stewardship. As reported by Jen Floyd Engel in September of 2012, Young’s wealth became his family’s wealth. He hired his uncle, a middle school teacher, to form a Sports Management Company (with Major Adams) and guess who their first client was? Yep, Vince Young gave his uncle, a man undoubtedly unqualified to handle Young’s $26 million in guaranteed money from the Tennessee Titans full control of his finances. So instead of investing some portion of the money that Young was given, he, his family and friends proceeded to live large. And live large they did, albeit in some strange ways. For example, Larry Brown of Larry Brown Sports reports that Young spent thousands of dollars weekly at both T.G.I.Firday’s and Cheesecake Factory buying meals and drinks for the Tennessee Titan Football Team. More bizarre, in 2007 Young bought the remaining 120 Southwest Airline tickets for a flight from Nashville to Houston to presumably “have the flight to himself”.
Whatever the reasons behind Vince Young’s financial woes, one thing is clear; few people around Vince Young cared about him. They seemed only interested in his money. That is sadder to me than the filing of the bankruptcy. Millions of people file bankruptcy every year. The vast majority of these people are good, hard-working people that have found themselves in a situation beyond their control. But most of these people have something that Vince Young doesn’t; someone that will be there for them after they go see the bankruptcy attorney.